P&O’s new cruise ship Britannia – the largest ever designed for the British market – arrived in Southampton yesterday ahead of her naming by the Queen on Monday and maiden voyage to Spain, Italy and France on March 14. Here are the top 10 facts about the new super liner.


Britannia has impressive vital statistics. She weighs 141,000 tonnes and is 1,082 feet long – longer than both The Shard and the Eiffel Tower if they were laid on their side. There are 15 decks and she can carry 5,000 people, 3,647 of them passengers. There are 1,837 cabins, 27 are singles.


Britannia’s livery features a contemporary version of the Union Flag. It needed 280 litres of red paint, 40 litres of shadow red, 80 litres of blue, 20 litres for the blue shadow and 160 litres for the big P&O logo on the front of the bow.


When working to full capacity, Britannia’s four engines will generate 62.4 Megawatts or 84,000 horsepower – the equivalent to the power generated by 168 supercars, allowing the 141,000 ton ship to cruise at a speed of 22 knots.

P&O Cruises Britannia Ligurian Loyalty Wiston Winery Event.

When the bottle smashes against the side of Britain’s biggest cruise ship on Tuesday, P&O Cruises will be upholding its celebration of all things British by selecting sparkling wine from the Wiston Estate Winery in Pulborough, West Sussex.


There are 26 places to eat and drink by celebrity specialists such as Atul Kochhar, Marco Pierre White, master pâtissier Eric Lanlard and cheese expert Charlie Turnbull (above). There’s also a cookery school by Saturday kitchen chef James Martin where classes with the like of Mary Berry will cost £100 a pop.


The four deck pools hold a whopping 280,000 litres of water. There’s also a teens-only pool and an indoor pool in the spa.


If you like a drink, you’re in luck. There’s a British Beer menu with 70 different bottles from 56 UK counties – the largest collection of British beer at sea. Fancy a G&T instead? Choose from 20 different types of mothers’ ruin.


The ship’s art collection cost a whopping £1million. Curated by Tom Tempest-Radford, it includes portraits of the like of Noel Gallagher and Bradley Wiggins, as well as an 8m atrium sculpture called Star Burst that features 280 crystal shards.

P&O Cruises Britannia.

A ship this big and important gets not one but two captains. Paul Brown, with P&O since 1989, and David Pembridge, who has been with the company since 1972, will alternate command.


Britannia’s theatre can seat 936 people. It will play host to shows including versions of Strictly Come Dancing on specially themed dance cruises. Strictly judge Darcy Bussell is on the guest list for the naming ceremony.

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